The BMA plans to widen its campaign against NHS privatisation to patients after focusing on doctors since it began last year.
The BMA said the current economic climate meant it was even more important not to “waste” money on private firms. They want patients to sign up to the campaign on a dedicated website, while leaflets and posters are being distributed warning them of the dangers presented by the private sector.
BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: “As the public purse strings tighten, it is crucial that public money is no longer wasted on expensive commercial experiments.”
But the Department of Health has questioned the timing of the extension of the campaign, pointing out the private sector was being used less and less.
A DH spokesman said “Independent and third sector organisations were used successfully to get down waiting lists for operations and can make a contribution to this by helping to add capacity and increase patient choice.”